The Muleskinner Team Mo Agri-Business Development Team IV V O L U M E
I S S U E 7
D E C E M B E R
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DRIVING THE TEAM Commander Col. Fortune
Message from the Commander
Deputy Commander Lt. Col. Charles
judgment, his only comment to me was (and it was a little bit hard to understand him because his mouth was full), "I have a good dentist."
Senior Enlisted Advisor Senior Master Sgt. Blankenship
INSIDE THIS SECTION: Seniorâ€™s Space
Division CSM chats with Brody
Under the hood with Havelka
Meet the Team
Pictures From the Field
Back at the Homestead
big hello and thank you to the families and friends of ADT IV who have gone to such great lengths to ensure that the ADT IV holiday season is as cheerful as possible. The Christmas goodies have been arriving by the truckload and I think some of the Airmen and Soldiers have stopped going to the FOB dining facility altogether and are now living on candy and homebaked goods. One of the SECFOR Sol di er s even tr i ed t o convince me that chocolate chip cookies contain all four food groups chocolate, butter, sugar, and flour. His argument was so convincing that Senior Master Sergeant Blankenship and I are now having a contest to see which one of us can eat more of Master Sergeant Weber's mother's cookies. When I questioned Senior as to whether we were exercising good
donations from the local community to cover the shipping costs; and then undertaking a massi ve effort to box up all these items and ship them. I kn o w ma n y o t h e r families and friends have gone to great lengths as well and I can't tell you how much your efforts have helped the team.
But in all seriousness, the team really does appreciate the tremendous support we have gotten from back home. Unit morale continues to be high and this has got to be due, in large part, to your efforts and generosity. I especially want to thank Mrs. Paula Maloney, wife of Staff Sgt. Daniel Maloney and lead for the Family Readiness Group, f o r c o l l e ct i n g " h a l f a garage full of items" and thank you letters from the students at the Ava, MO Schools; gathering
We are now four months into our mission here and the team has settled into a fairly comfortable routine. When not on missions, we continue to train diligently and to improve our living area. A d d i t i o n al l y, ma n y team members are getting into great shape and even taking online college courses. I continue to be very impressed with ... and I don't think many commanders can make this claim ... the dedication, commitment, and attitude of every single one of our Soldiers and Airmen.
Merry Christmas! By Senior Master Sgt. Jerry Blankenship
NCO of the month: Sgt kostron
Soldier of the month: SPC Lane
e r r y Christmas and Happy Holidays to those of you who are deployed and to families w i t h de pl o yed l o ve d ones. It’s been an outstanding year for the Missouri ADT IV team. I am very proud to be part of this team. Once again, ADT IV has proved their dedication and willing sacrifice for the ADT mission and the joint Army-Air Force team. I know the days are long and the work is demanding, but they are making a difference. Serving our country involves everyday sacrifices from the service members and their families. One of the hardest sacrifices is being away during the holidays. There are many organizations and everyday people who recognize our sacrifices and send packages to show their gratitude. I myself, love opening Christmas cards to see the personal touch of all
the people wishing us our best. They are so proud of us, but it is what we do. We are happy to do it and most of us would do it again if called upon. I was trying to figure out what to write about in this month’s article. I knew I had to do s o me t hi n g ab o ut t h e Holidays, but I didn’t want it to end up making people feel worse about being away from home. I was lucky enough to run across an article about gifts from home that led to the “Christmas Truce of 1914.” According to one account, the good will nurtured by food, warm clothing and letters from home prompted the Germans in one area of the Western Front to suggest a cease fire on Christmas Eve in order to sing songs and celebrate an officer's birthday. The suggestion came with a chocolate cake. The British forces accepted the invitation and sent tobacco as a return gift. That night, in pl ace of gunf ir e and artillery shells, soldiers on both si des tr aded
songs and jokes. The next day, in parts of the No-Man's Land between the trenches, Germans a n d B r i t i s h me t a n d exchanged small gifts and pleasantries. A British major in the me d i c al c or ps wr ot e home to his mother about an impromptu soccer match that Christmas Day, with the Germans besting the British by a score of 3-2. T h e t r u c e d i d n ot endure, but it did occur and it remains to this day a reminder that even those who pledge to fight on behalf of their nation will embrace peace over war. We are playing Christmas carols over the loud speakers every night as an invitation to the Taliban to stop fighting and make peace. (Continued on page 3)
Division CSM chats with Brody (Continued from page 2)
S pe a ki n g of pea ce, I w a nt t o s har e my masterpiece:
On the first day of Christmas, Afghanistan gave to me: One smoky burn pit Two brick and mortar houses Three IEDs Four days at BAF (Bagram Air Base) Five dead lined trucks Six days of mail run Seven RPG’s Eight counseling statements Nine got promoted Ten months in country Eleven half marathoners Twelve hundred filled sandbags Well, anyone who knows me knew I couldn’t stay serious too long. If anyone is interested we are having a 5K Christmas Day Race. Thank you so much for all the boxes and cards; you have brought “Joy to our World”. On December 25 we watched Christmas movies all day and on January 1, we are having a movie marathon of “The Three Stooges”.
Spec. John Brody was awarded a coin and found himself talking with Command Sgt. Maj. Scott C. Schroeder, division command sergeant major, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), on Christmas Eve in front of the unit formation. Schroeder said that National Guardsmen brought a lot to the table no matter what kind of units they served in and what their jobs were. The CSM wanted to know what Brody’s job with the ADT is and what job the Army had trained him for. Brody told him he was a member of SECFOR and that he was a forward observer. The CSM asked Brody where he worked and Brody replied that he was a student. He explained that after two deployments, it was taking a while to earn his registered nurse license. After two tours with the ADT to FOB FinleyShields, Brody hasn’t had much time to focus on school. However, between deployments he goes to school at Columbia College and is a server at Chili’s between classes. He is with the 35th Combat Aviation Brigade, Sedalia and has been in the Missouri National Guard for four years. Staff Sgt. Walker and Sgt. Armour were also presented division CSM coins by Schroeder.
By Spec. James Havelka
ver y day i s a challenge for the maintenance section because there is no set schedule for what we do. As a mechanic, I have to remain flexible. Sometimes, I may be working on one project and another vehicle needs work that takes priority over the one I’m working on. So I have to switch gears (so to speak), and address the new problem. And it doesn’t matter when the problem occurs- I always h a ve t o b e r ead y n o matter the time of day. That’s what I love about my job; that it breaks away from an everyday routine and the variet y of work I do daily. There are three mechanics assigned to the Maintenance section including the section sergeant, Staff Sgt. Victor Sekscinski. Senior mechanic Spec. Donald Callahan says, “It a smaller operation but it is good that I’m able to gain experience running the shop. I get more hands-
on training this way. Anything that comes up, we have the opportunity get involved.” We do routine preventive maintenance, checks and services, and organizational level repairs. This means we do everything from changing oil to troubleshooting complex electrical issues on vehicles. We have to be tremendous troubleshooters, because MRAP’s are still new to the Army and therefore new to some of us working on it. Although frustrating at times, being able to successfully troubleshoot a problem and getting a truck mission ready to help protect the ADT Soldiers and Airmen inside is very rewarding. In preparation for our deployment we were sent to Red River Depot in Texarkana, Texas for training on the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle at the MRAP University, which was a huge help. Even though each week of the five week course was a brief overview of different trucks in the MRAP family, it was still enough to prepare us for what we could expect when working with these vehicles. The Missouri National Guard does not have MRAPs in their inventory, so this was my first experience with the Ar my’ s newest vehicles which are designed to defeat
After five months Spec. James Havelka has received many sweaty and knuckle-scraping hours of “hands-on” training with the vehicles assigned to the ADT.
improvised explosive devices. In addition to repairs and maintenance, we have to be able to order the parts we need. We use electronic Technical Manuals to identify the parts we need to maintain and repair the unit’s equipment. In order to request parts, we have to walk up the hill to the 101st Airborne maintenance shop office because we do not have in-house capability to order parts. Most of the time, they do not have the parts on hand but they are really good about helping us out and ordering what we need. We try to forecast our needs, but if it’s something we didn’t plan for, the parts usually take a week to arrive. They hold our parts and we pick them up. Sekscinski says, “The guys are doing an outstanding job. They came in without experience on MRAPs and have kept us at 90 percent operational readiness. Overall, it has definitely been a learning experience working with these vehicles.”
“ Although frustrating at times, being able to successfully troubleshoot a problem and get a truck missionready to help protect the Soldiers and Airmen inside is very rewarding. ”
Bradley jumps for joy By Capt. Marie Orlando
Stephen Bradley is the non-commissioned officer in charge of the agriculture section. He joined the ADT from the Missouri Regional Training Institute at Ft. Leonard Wood where he is assigned as the assistant operations NCO. Bradley served six years with the active duty Army and after a break in service, he returned to the Missouri Army National Guard where he has served sixteen years. He has a total of 22 years combined service in the military. This is Bradley’s second deployment with the MONG. He deployed in 2003 to Tikrit, Iraq as an equipment section sergeant with the MONG 235th Engineer Company.
Bradley strikes most people as a typical native Missourian with a rural backgr ound. He has worked for his civilian employer, the city of Belton, for the past 14 years. He shares similar interests like fishing and campi ng, that many Missourians and ADT members like to do. When he goes home for leave, his sentiments are the same as so many others that want to spend time with their children and grandchildren. But he has a hobby which is a small aberration from the norm in small-town U.S.A.; Bradley is an avid skydiver. With over 500 jumps logged and over four hours of free-fall time, Bradley’s jumping is nothing new to those that know him, only a little strange. He says he takes his gear with him when he goes on vacation and jumps different places. “I’ve gone to the
International Skydivers Convention in Illinois a few times,” he says. At home, he jumps with Freefall Express in Mount Vernon. Hi s super vi sor Lt . Col. Raymond Legg says, “Master Sgt. Bradley seems perfectly normal otherwise”. Bradley is from Neosho and lives there with his wife Sheila. They have four children and three grandchildren.
With over 500 jumps logged and over four hours of freefall time, Bradley’s jumping is nothing new to those that know him, only a little strange.
Experience on the ground
gt. Ryan Lackey is a member of the SECFOR platoon. He is with the 138t h In fa nt r y, S t . Louis, Mo. as an infantryman.
Regiment, 25th Infantry Division from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. He conducted operations in the northeast out of FOB Ripley.
Lackey served three years with the Army on active duty. This is his second deployment to Afghanistan. He mobilized with the 2nd Battalion, 5th Infantry
He has been in the Missouri National Guard five years with a total of eight years in the military. “This mission is not as hostile as the last
one. I was more on the front lines there. Here I mingle with the people and don’t go out at night. I like working SECFOR and I see this as a stepping stone to a future job, since this is similar to what I would like to do on the civilian side.” He lives in St. Charles where his parents also reside.
Improved skills and stronger marriage S pec. Robert Terry is a Squad Automatic Weapon gunner for the SECFOR platoon. He joined the ADT as an infantryman from Company C, 138th Infantry Regiment, St. Louis.
Terry has been in the Missouri National Guard for three years . “I feel good about this deployment. It
will help me reach my goals of buying a home when I get back to the states as well as improving my skills as an infantryman.” Terry said, “I like being with a unit that didn’t know each other and now what we’ve accomplished as a unit together is amazing. The experiences everyone brings to this deployment is phenomenal.” “This deplo ym ent has strengthened my marriage because it makes you realize what you have at home when you are
“I like to hunt and take my family out to the river and fish. I like to spend time with my baby girl Zoey and my lovely wife Jamie,” he added. “I would like to work in the automotive field when I return. I went to a vocational trade school in Arizona and just need my ASC certification.” He lives in his hometown of Houston where his parents Terri and Phil also live.
pec. Andrew Lane, co mbat engineer, is a member of the S E C F O R
platoon. H e i s a s s i gn e d t o Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1140th Engineer Battalion, Cape Girardeau. Lane initially enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves as a small arms specialist and served five years before he transferred to the Missouri National Guard in 2008. H e was mo b i l i ze d with ADT II, but had to stay behind as a result of an injury sustained d u r i n g mo b i l i za t i on . However, he still wanted to deploy with an ADT
and he begged t o be allowed to deploy after he recovered from the t o r n l i ga me n t i n hi s knee. Lane said, “This is a good deployment. I like what we’re doing here; it’s an interesting concept and a different way to fight a war. It’s also a good opportunity to network and I’m looking for a technician job with the Army or Air Guard.” Lane’s sense of humor had the entire unit laughing uncontrollably on Halloween when he participated in the costume contest, and won first place by the way, dressed as Air Force Master Sgt. Bob Weber, a feat that included a shaved head to mimic his role model.
He is an executive security agent for his civilian employer, Integricept Private Securi t y. He sai d he works as a bodyguard for different clients varying from celebrities to domestic abuse victims. Lane is engaged to Jordan Hecht and resides in Jackson. His parents live in Jackson and he graduated from Jackson High School in 2004. When Lane goes home in January he is getting married in Gatlinburg, Tenn. “I’m looking forward to a sweet get-away to the Smoky Mountains with the new wifey,” he said. His hobbies include s po r t s , sh oo t i n g an d hanging out with Jordan. Not exactly in that order!
Callahan maintains goals
pec. Donald Callahan is a mechanic assigned to the Maintenance Section, Headquarters Platoon. His home unit is the 1175th Military Police Company at St. Clair where he also works as a mechanic. Callahan has been in the Missouri National Guard for six years. This is his second deployment. THE
He mobilized with the 1175th MP Company in 2008 to Iraq. Callahan said, “I feel good about what we are doing. I had two goals when I arrived– one to pay off bills and two to find a good job, which I’ve done.”
He said when he goes home to Ellington, he plans on relaxing and buying a new vehicle. He likes sport shooting, camping f i sh i n g, h un t i n g an d driving.
Callahan has one daughter and his father C a l l a h a n w a s also lives in Ellington. r e c e n t l y h i r e d a s a He graduated in 2002 mechanic at the Camp f r o m B a y l e s s H i g h C r o w d e r F i e l d School in St. Louis. Maintenance Shop.
d l e i f e h t m o r f s Picture SGT Rios, with map in hand, and SSG Colson, attempt to locate a project site.
Lunch at the Governorâ€™s Palace.
SGT Clouse, SECFOR, stands guard among the olive trees.
ADT visits the location of a project nestled in a scenic village on mountainous slopes.
LTC Legg makes himself comfortable in the palace. SMSgt Counts pulls security along a village street.
Spec. Chapman pulls security and sits for chai.
1LT Berendzen conducts a market survey.
LTC Charles has a new friend. (It may be time for him to go on leave.)
For more photographs of our activities and some video clips, visit us on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MONG.ADTIV
s y a d li o H e th f o it ir p s In the
1LT Berendzen displays a Christmas ham sent from home.
MSG Squires, Santa’s newest reindeer, enjoys a hotdog.
CPT Paluczak and 1LT Pyatt enjoy a BBQ.
THE USO brought special guests including Lewis Black, Lance Armstrong, and Kathleen Madigan. Below , Deborah, wife of Admiral Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, browses the ADT area.
Care package contents substitute for a lot of dining facility meals.
Soldiers and Airmen take advantage of some spare time to pursue recreational interests like bow shooting.
The ADT has a birthday “party” for the Army National Guard.
ADT members pose with Lewis Black.
MONG ADT IV Give us a holler! Name (NO RANK) MONG ADT IV FOB Finley-Shields APO, AE 09310
A HEARTY THANKS TO ALL THE FOLKS THAT HAVE SENT DONATIONS TO THE UNIT MEMBERS AND AFGHAN CHILDREN: Angela Lanaker Hero Hugs Missouri 4-H USO Maloney Family Jim and Katie Roberson Dennis O’Leary, Local 136 Fenton Rick and Mary Rutledge James Tinder Holly Cronk Alice Howard Dr. James Maxwell and Staff. Crestwood Dental Group Michelle Paluczak Operation Gratitude Janice Beydler Safety National Odessa, MO Ram Trucks Bank of America Innoventor Sabreliner Corporation Operation Christmas Tree Operation Care
Celebrating Birthdays in January SPC Berryman
Anniversaries ● Earl and Sarah Eisenbacher ● Stanley and Deborah Walker
MONG ADT IV
The Muleskinner is an unofficial publication authorized by AR 360-1. It is published monthly by the Missouri Agribusiness Development Team IV to provide important information re-
The Muleskinner Team provides a
lated to their deployment for the Soldiers and
monthly update for families and
Airmen, their Families, units and commands,
friends of the Nangarhar Missouri
the Army, DOD and the public. Views and opinions expressed in the
National Guard Development Team.
Muleskinner are not necessarily those of the Department of the Army or DOD.
The Muleskinner Report provides If you would like to receive this publication to your email or have questions or comments concerning ADT IV please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
insights and analysis on the Nangarhar Missouri National Guard Development Team’s mission. If you have questions or comments on the
Public Affairs Officer Capt. Marie Orlando ADT IV
Muleskinner Report, please contact Col. Mike Fortune at Mike.Fortune@afghan.swa.army.mil
.call . . e m l l a C
Who do I call? Where do I go?
Back at the homestead • Family Readiness Group Leader Paula Ann Maloney 417.250.1703 or 417.683.3711 • ArmyOne Source 800.342.9647
• 131st Fighter Wing Coord. 314.527.6362 • 139th Fighter Air Lift Wing Coord. 816.236.3511 • Military Family Life Consultants
• Family Program Office 800.299.9603
- Child/Youth (Amy Bledsoe) 573.418.3588
• Family Assistance Center 877.236.4168
- Adult (Phil Pringle) 573.418.3588
• Deployed Pay Issues 877.276.4729 • Employer Support of Guard and Reserve 573.638.9500 ext. 7730
• JFHQ-MO Chaplain 573.638.9618